Bonnie Shell's Life Stories

What inventions have had the biggest impact on your day-to-day life?

At my age, which is eighty years, many inventions have been very helpful in my life.

When I was in high school, I learned to compute numbers on a comptometer. Electric adding machines were just getting popular. I also learned to type on a manual typewriter, so the invention of the electric model was a really important discovery.

We didn't have a TV in our home until I was thirteen, and then it was black-and-white. Color TV came a few years later.

Having a phone that you could carry around or use in the car was something you only saw in the movies, and then it was as big as a man's shoe.

Computers were just getting started in business. I remember the company I worked for getting their first computers, which were as big as a large room and had to be kept in temperature-controlled places. Memos to other employees were carried by the mail boy and hand-delivered.

There were fewer cars on the roads, and most people, especially those who lived in the city, used public transportation. We were a tough breed. We stood on street corners in the rain, cold, and snow storms, waiting for a bus.

Life is certainly easier now with all the technology that has been invented. With a cell phone, you can call anyone from anywhere. The internet lets you contact anyone in an instant. But I still enjoy getting a handwritten letter from a friend.

Even though technology has made life easier for most of us, social graces are suffering because of the lack of personal contact. I hope someone finds a happy medium so our kids and even some adults can get back to being close and personal.